Often a waxy coating on soil causes a water repelling effect in soils across Queensland. The coating stops water from entering the soil, stops water from penetrating evenly throughout the soil and can cause the water to be pushed out of the soil root zone entirely.
Wetting agents work in a similar way to the dishwashing liquid you use to wash greasy dishes; it breaks down the waxy coating on the grains of soil as well as helping the water to penetrate. After a wetting agent is applied the soil beneath your lawn is much more capable of absorbing the water when it is applied, the water is more able to distribute evenly throughout the soil. And, rather than forcing water away from the root system, it allows the soil to hold onto the water for longer for when it’s needed.
How to Apply Wetting Agents
The wetting agent itself looks a bit like large grains of light coloured soil and you’ll be able to see them on the lawn for a few days after they have been applied and watered in. Why? The grains aren’t actually the wetting agent – they are a carrier so to speak (often cork) that the wetting agent is applied to.
When you water the product in the actual wetting agent hydrates and is released from the carrier and enters the soil – the carrier is then left behind to break down naturally into the lawn and soil below. While it’s best to immediately water in the wetting agents upon application, if you do need to leave it for a little while that’s okay – wetting agents will not burn the lawn if left like fertilisers will.
When to Apply Wetting Agents
Wetting agents are best applied early spring, early summer and autumn to be the most effective.